one of those things, adopted with a whoop
“... what can you know of the real sorrows and hardships of life?”
“What indeed?” responded Katie briskly.
“And your heart has never been touched — and I don’t believe it ever will be,” Clara continued spitefully — Katie seemed so complacent. “You have no real feeling. You’re just like Wayne.”
“Katie laughed at that and looked at Clara; then laughed again, and Clara flushed.
“Speaking of Wayne,” said Katie in off-hand fashion, “he’s been made a major.”
She watched Clara as she said it. There were things Katie could be rather brutal about.
“I’m sure that’s very nice,” said the woman who had divorced Wayne.
“Yes, isn’t it? And other things are going swimmingly. One of those things he used to be always puttering over — you may remember, Clara, mentioning, from time to time, those things he used to be puttering around with — has been adopted with a whoop. A great fuss is being made over it. It looks as though Wayne was confronted with something that might be called a future.”
“I’m sure I’m very glad,” said Clara, “that somebody is to have something that might be called a future. Certainly a woman with barely enough to live on isn’t in much danger of being confronted with one.”
Heavenali usefully reviews this and some other books by Susan Glaspell : link
Those “things he used to be puttering around with” are, in fact, an attachment to a rifle that would make it more destructive (p4). Wayne will change his life (resign his commission, enter the forestry service) as will Katie (join with the philosophical/socialist “man who mended the boats” — and man with a past). The entry of “Verna Woods / Ann Forest” into the picture (“like a bullet,” p5) will catalyze both changes.
Susan Glaspell (1876-1948)
wikipedia : link
note to self —
Much of the novel is set on military bases, with the social niceties, concerts, dances, receptions, expectations, romances, marriages, etc. that might be found there. A kind of rehearsal for aspirational middle-class people, men with technical and other talents...
I am thinking of the expansion of opportunities for travel, advancement, etc. — for a greater number of (white) people, women included — as a result of Spanish-American War, administration (and development/exploitation) of the Philippines and Cuba, Panama...
There are some striking changes of perspective — for several characters — in the story...